Yes, this blog is about enjoying work and life. You can’t have one and not the other. That’s when one would either stressed out (being hating work) or failed to achieve one’s potential (being enjoyed life while ignoring everything else). Finding the perfect balance is easier said than done.
Today’s blog is about neither. It is about how everyone of us are trapped in a vicious cycle of trying to achieve something that the society expects us to do. For example, everyone in the modern day is expected to go to school, learn life skills, start working , get a career, build a life, etc. At the end of our life-cycle, we are expected to pass on our knowledge to our future generation. And the cycle begins again.
This is not so bad if there are no hurdles or life-events along the way. But God always have different plans for everyone. There is always unforeseen events that may appear and stop the plans half-way. For example, while one is doing find and having a successful career may find himself out of job and living on the street.
Well, today’s blog is going to discuss why are we all in this predicament, and is there anyway we can get out of this vicious cycle. I’ve pondered this question for years and I come to the conclusion that I could not get out of the cycle unless I decided to drop everything in front of me and live in a forest and live off the land.
Let’s build the case shall we by asking several questions.
Why do we exist
We exist today because God has plans for everyone of us, big or small. However, God does not tell us what He has plan for us. We just have to figure it out ourselves. But the problem is when we were born, we are just one of the helpless creatures with no capability of defending ourselves. We go through years of learning and training before we are even capable of being independent. We exist to be part of a larger community so we can give back to the community for years to come. So should we be selfish and say the hell with it and just do whatever we want? The answer is unfortunately no. We will continue to stick to the plan (unwritten plan) and hopefully we are on the right plan.
Why do we do what we are told
Early on we’ve already been told that we should do this and that. If we don’t we will fail in life. To a certain extent this is true because everything has already been dictated by society. For example, if a 6 year old child says he wants to be a fireman when he grows up, he cannot just wear the fire proof and jump in a building that is in fire and hope to put out the fire. No, the child has to learn all the necessary skills and when he becomes an adult will have to take all the training and exams and hope one day he will become a fireman. But what if the child decides to step out of line when he was 12 and did something different? Using my personal experience as an example, I knew that when I was in high school I want to be in the business world, but I don’t know how. But to get there I learned that I MUST get good grades, go to college, obtain certain skills, apply for jobs, go to interviews and hope that I get that job. Now after 25 years, I continue to follow the unwritten route and hope that one day I’m well off to retire. What if I decided that I don’t want to follow the plan anymore? My whole life-being, including my children’s will collapse. So the conclusion is I don’t have a choice.
What about the haves and haves not
When we start to become independent of our parents, we were already exposed to how the society works in terms of livelihood. For us to be able to get what we want in life, it will cost money. To get the money, we need to earn it. And to earn it, we need to use a third of our lives in it. Take for an example of buying a car. When I was in grade school I already wanted a car of my own. Unfortunately I learned that the car is not like a toy and costs a lot of money. When I became an adult, I soon realized that to get the money to buy the car, I need to get a job. However, at the same time I found out that what I make is not what I earn, and that means that it is much harder to buy the car. Not only that I need to pay the government and everyone in between of my hard earned money in order to get the car I wanted. The another question arise out of this dilemma – do I really need the car? The short answer is no, but society tells us we do because it bring us convenience and freedom to do what we want. So we fall back into the same cycle with no way of getting out.
As I noted earlier, the only way for us not to participate in this cycle is live in a forest and go off grid. If we live off land where no one (in this case society) can reach us, then we won’t be influenced by all the rules, systems and programs. We could be free from all the hassle and stress of the modern day lives. Unfortunately, reality hits us like a rock. Homo sapiens are creatures who seek convenience, even cavemen invented wheel and discovered fire that staying status quo would never work.
At the end is it really that bad to be in the vicious cycle? Personally I have given it a lot of thoughts and realize that if we manage our expectations and be happy with what we have following the cycle is really not that bad.
Let me know your thoughts!